Smithville names John Patten as new president, focuses on new growth opportunities
ELLETTSVILLE (Indiana) – Seeking to capture emerging new statewide growth opportunities, Smithville has tapped COO John Patten to serve as the company’s new president, according to Darby A. McCarty, Chairman and CEO. “These are exciting times for Smithville, and we are confident that John Patten will help us improve and expand our growing leadership position,” she said.
A family-owned business based in Indiana, Smithville represents the state’s largest privately held telecommunications firm. Ms. McCarty will retain the titles of chairman and CEO, and plans to focus on driving strategic direction for Smithville. The new roles take effect immediately.
“John’s promotion reflects what’s happening to Smithville operations as we grow to meet new challenges and expand our services,” said Ms. McCarty. “The board and executive leadership are very pleased with John’s performance as COO and it’s time to make clear his upward movement in terms of new responsibilities.” She noted that Patten is responsible for developing and sustaining the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the company executes at a high level of performance, continuing and expanding his previous duties as COO.
“Smithville holds a deep history of real innovation and customer service in the communications industry, and I look forward to this new formal role in helping Smithville achieve its next level of strategic growth,” said Patten. Ms. McCarty said that several of Patten’s new presidential responsibilities had already been transitioned to him. “Among other duties, we expect John to be more publicly visible as Smithville’s president,” she said.
As COO, Patten provided a primary leadership role for the recent expansion of fiber-based residential and business services outside of Smithville’s traditional service area. This includes the establishment of a new “GigaCity” expansion offering fiber-based gigabit speed (100 megabits) in Jasper and other areas of Indiana. He also is directly engaged in the expansion of large-scale enterprise and small business service offerings.
According to Patten, Smithville has a number of new service innovations that it will be rolling out through 2016. Smithville currently offers up to 10 gigabit connectivity for its large-scale enterprise customers. A new network upgrade to 100 gigabit capacity is in progress and will increase that capacity later in 2016. This will also allow Smithville to begin providing “wave” level connectivity to major customers and other providers who want to provide data transports at very high speeds and capacity. Patten noted that other service improvements will be announced “that will increase Smithville’s already highly competitive position in residential and business services.”
Following a national search to fill the COO position, Patten first joined Smithville Communications (now marketed under the brand of Smithville Fiber) in July 2014 from MG Design Associates, where he previously served as president of the full-service national marketing and trade show/event exhibit company. (MG Design is headquartered in Wisconsin, with offices in California, Florida, Indiana and Nevada.)
Prior to his national work at MG Design, Patten served as a senior executive in the construction, education and radio industries. He began his career in the early 1970s in Indianapolis at the legendary radio station WIFE, and moved from there into CEO-level positions in media. A native Hoosier, Patten is a 1972 graduate of Indiana University (Bloomington).
Smithville, which began using the brand name Smithville Fiber in 2015 to reflect its long-term commitment to a 21st century fiber platform, is a fiber-optics industry pioneer in Indiana. It began a multi-year $100 million major system fiber overbuild of its older telephone customer base in 2008, and has since developed a number of privately financed new fiber installations in Jasper, Danville and elsewhere. These newer private developments deploy advanced fiber technology that allows the full capacity of a gigabit of connectivity to both residents and businesses.
Smithville Fiber’s continuing commitment to fiber-based communications innovation has earned it a Top 100 broadband national ranking seven years in a row.
About Smithville Fiber and Smithville Communications – Nationally recognized as a Top 100 Broadband Company, privately owned Smithville Fiber is Indiana’s largest independent telecom company with more than 140 employees. With an earned reputation as a communications technology innovator, Smithville is presently deploying Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) and other enhanced fiber services to its business and residential customers. These services, which range up to 10 Gbps for enterprise operations, provide a platform for the fastest connectivity available in Indiana to business, institutions and consumers. The company develops the Smithville GigaCityTMtechnology platform and provides fiber-based connectivity, data consulting, network management and managed services for businesses, university campuses, biotechnology companies, healthcare providers, government offices, residential centers, communities, and other entities, including the cities of Jasper and Danville (Indiana). Smithville also manages a legacy copper communication network in rural south central Indiana, and began a system-wide effort to upgrade rural capacity with a fiber-to-the-cabinet initiative in 2014. The company currently serves about 23,000 businesses and residences in southern and central Indiana. For more information, please visitwww.smithville.com.
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